The Valley Ranch Review: A Coach Phillips Flavored Offseason

The Cowboys' defense had the sacks last year, leading the league with 59. But the defensive coordinator hat that head coach Wade Phillips will be wearing this year strives to create more turnovers.

Says the Star-Telegram's Mac Engel:

There should, however, be a correlation between sacks and turnovers. Last season, the Cowboys' eight interceptions ranked 30th in the NFL.

How will Coach Phillips create more turnover opportunities? Simple. Create even more pressure than last year.

"I hope we are progressing to be a top pass-rush team and pressure team to help us get more turnovers than we did. That's an emphasis," Phillips said.

If that turnover figure improves, then so should the wins.

"We've come a long way pass defense- and pass rush-wise - leading the lead in sacks," Phillips said. "We are progressing the way I'd like our defense to progress. But we still need pass rushers."

And what about the defensive backfield?

The other area where the Cowboys changed significantly this off-season is in the secondary that will emphasize pass coverage more than run defense. By releasing safety Roy Williams, Phillips no longer has to try to accommodate a player who clearly was not suited for his scheme, nor well-matched for today's pass-drunk NFL offenses. The addition of free agent Gerald Sensabaugh is an upgrade at safety as far as coverage.

There's more VRR after the jump, including Greg Ellis and what he thinks of the moves in the draft.

After the Cowboys drafted back-to-back pass rushers in Sunday's 4th-round, speculation grew about Greg Ellis' future. Jerry Jones spoke to DC.com about the linebacker's expected grumblings.

"We'll address that. Obviously that will be addressed, both any ambiguity or both that there is anything that needs to be addressed relative to Greg.

"But you're right, that is something that goes on every year," Jones said of Ellis' annual complaints. "It just goes on every year."

Ellis' agent, James Williams, says Greg is cool with everything.

"Greg is looking forward to playing football and he's looking forward to playing in the new stadium for the Cowboys," Williams said. "It's outside of our control anyway. But Greg is happy with the Cowboys and wants no controversies."

Todd Archer says this is the year Bobby Carpenter must step up.

New Cowboy linebacker, Jason Williams, will be throwing the first pitch for his alma mater's softball team.

4th-round pick, Victor Butler, was one of six Beavers selected in this weekend's draft.

Defensive end standout Victor Butler was the next Beaver drafted, in the fourth round to the Dallas Cowboys.  Butler is projected to be a linebacker at the pro level after earning four letters while starting all 13 games as a senior. The Rialto, Calif. native earned All-Pac-10 first team in 2008 and was a member of the Ted Hendricks Award watch list, which goes to the top defensive end in the country. Butler burst onto the defensive scene at Oregon State as a junior recording 10.5 sacks as a speed rusher. As a senior, he recorded 12 sacks, including tying an OSU single game record 4 sacks in the Sun Bowl, giving him 25.5 takedowns in his career - good for second all-time for the Orange and Black.

 "We project Victor as an outside linebacker," Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips said. "Victor is athletic enough to make the transition."

Post-draft, what do the Cowboys still need? FoxSports says WR.

Dallas: Wide receiver. With the Roy Williams trade last year, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones showed how much he values this position. Jones could have interest in adding another veteran - maybe fellow Arkansas alumnus Matt Jones? - if Miles Austin, Sam Hurd or Isaiah Stanback doesn't prove worthy of being starting material.

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